How to Extend The Lifespan of Your Wood Furniture
A quality piece of handmade wooden furniture has been crafted with care and longevity in mind. These types of well-made items are often in our homes and with our families for decades — so it makes sense to take the utmost care of them.
Despite its robust appearance, real wood furniture needs to be treated carefully. Here are some tips so that you can keep your wood furniture in as close to a like-new condition as possible for years to come.
Think About the Environment
Don’t place your furniture in a storage unit, garage or basement while you find its perfect place in the home. Fluctuating temperatures and moisture levels can cause severe problems for wooden furniture.
How? Humidity may cause furniture to warp and expand; in worst-case scenarios, the furniture may even crack. Ideally, the humidity will be kept stable. In the winter, you may need to use a humidifier to control the humidity at levels between 40% and 45%.
Climate-wise, real wood furniture is best kept in environments that are 15° to 26°C. Extreme temperature swings — just like humidity — may cause damage. With this in mind, don’t place your furniture too close to a fireplace, an HVAC vent, a radiator or in a steamy bathroom.
Keep Wooden Furniture out of Direct Sunlight
Another environmental factor which may be detrimental to your wood furniture is direct sunlight, which can cause wood to fade; it may even damage the finish. If possible, try to position your furniture in a room that doesn’t see most of the mid-day sun. This may be challenging if your home is tight on space, especially for larger furniture pieces like wooden bedroom sets, wardrobes and hutches. If you cannot accommodate a sun-free space, draw your curtains, or lower your blinds on bright days.
By monitoring the climate, the humidity and the exposure to direct sunlight, you’ll immediately combat enemies of wooden furniture.
Dust Your Furniture Regularly
It’s recommended that you dust your furniture on a weekly basis. Not only will dusting keep the furniture clean (and your house healthy), but it will also allow you to regularly check for watermarks, scratches, dings and dents. Over the years, keeping an eye out for damage like this will let you know in good time if you need to consider refinishing.
If you do believe refinishing is necessary, failing to accurately assess the furniture’s worth and the scope of the job could see a potentially valuable piece being damaged by at-home refinishing attempts. We always recommend consulting a specialist — like our finishing experts at Woodcraft — before you dig out the sander and tools and attempt staining custom furniture at home yourself.
When dusting your wooden furniture, use a soft, slightly dampened, micro-fibre cloth and gently follow the grain pattern of the wood.
Use Felt Pads
If you’re using the top of your furniture to display photos, plants and other knickknacks, place felt pads on the base of each of these pieces of décor. Or, put your knickknacks on top of a table runner or doily to protect the wood and the finish. Similarly, if your furniture is a piece for practical use — like a dining table or coffee table — use coasters, placemats, and chargers to protect the wood from damage.
Following these tips will ensure that your wooden furniture stays beautiful for now and for many days ahead.